Answering Your FAQs on Workers’ Compensation
For decades, the attorneys at Casartello & Murphy, LLC, in Springfield, Massachusetts, have represented hundreds of clients seeking workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace accident. Our personal, attentive and experienced attorneys have fought for clients who have worked in many industries, including construction, manufacturing, retail and restaurant and hospitality industries. Here is a list of some of the more frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation.
Q: What is workers’ compensation, and what does it cover?
A: If you are injured or become ill while working on the job, you are likely eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which pays for the benefits. Workers’ compensation benefits provide for your lost wages and costly medical expenses. They also can provide survivor benefits to your family if you suffer a fatal accident on the job.
Q: How do I know if I am eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits?
A: Any Massachusetts worker injured on the job or while performing duties for their employer are eligible for workers’ compensation.
Q: I am afraid my employer may attempt to fire me if I choose to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Can that happen?
A: No. It is illegal in our state for employers to retaliate against workers by firing them for seeking for workers’ compensation.
Q: I was hurt in an accident that was my fault. Can I still collect workers’ comp?
The workers’ compensation system is designed to remove fault from the equation. This means if you were ultimately at fault for a workplace accident, you can still receive workers’ comp benefits. However, the system works both ways. This means that if your employer was at fault for the accident, your means of recovering compensation is limited to workers’ compensation. You cannot sue your employer for additional damages.
Q: How much money can I expect to collect each week for workers’ compensation benefits?
A: The benefit amount is typically 60 percent of your average weekly wage of the year before your injury date. Each year in October, the state of Massachusetts sets the maximum and minimum weekly rate that people can receive for workers’ compensation benefits. As of Oct 1, 2018, the maximum amount is $1,383 and the minimum amount was $276.
Q: Is there any way to recover damages beyond workers’ compensation?
A: Your damages are limited to workers’ compensation if your employer caused or significantly contributed to the accident which caused your injury. However, if some liability can be placed on a third-party, such as the manufacturer of machinery that caused an accident, you can pursue additional damages from the negligent third-party.
Q: How long may I receive workers’ compensation benefits?
A: Currently, it is 156 weeks.
Q: What if the insurer denies my claim?
A: Our skilled attorneys can help you file an appeal with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.
Q: Why do I need a skilled attorney who understands workers’ compensation matters?
A: An attorney will stand up for you in all legal matters related to your workers’ compensation claim and your quest to receive benefits. He or she will help you file for benefit claims, pursue any benefit extensions and file an appeal if your application is denied. An attorney will protect your rights if you been injured on job.
A job injury can lead to difficult times for you and your family. Workers’ compensation can soften the sting, and our skilled, personable and compassionate attorneys want to help you.
Contact A Skilled And Personable Lawyer
You deserve workers’ compensation after having sustained a workplace injury. Casartello & Murphy, LLC, in Springfield, Massachusetts, is a skilled group of attorneys who can help you every step of the way in seeking workers’ compensation benefits. We offer free initial consultations. Please contact us via email or call 413-351-0915.